Everyone Marries A Stranger.

There it was, the thought we’ve all tried to shut down immediately, “everyone marries a stranger.” As fully grown intelligent adults we would love to believe that we know the person we get intimately involved with. The reality, however, is that the divorce rates say otherwise. We don’t really know what we are getting into when we say, “I do.”

Putting a ring on someone’s finger doesn’t exactly say that because a diamond will last the long run the bride and the groom will too. We try to see what our parents have done to make it through the years but most of us in this modern masquerade perform a masterpiece of misery. A series of unfortunate events gone viral throughout the families lines and eventually created the chaos in which we came out of.

All of this comes with smiling pictures in sunny picture frames only to notice a side of a coke addict spouse and a history of infidelity. Where have we gone so wrong in our culture? It seems as if even some of the most honorable American family systems are breaking down in the most unexpected ways. When that one good dad everyone knew as a honorable moral character finds himself with a not-so-faithful-anymore-fling, why even bother believing in the ring?

But call it the eternal hopeless romantic of a little girl’s big dreams, we trust that one day we will find someone to love and be loved by. We wish upon a shooting star, blow another eyelash off our cheek, and tap our heels together three times to ensure that love will bring us back home in the arms of our beloved.

It’s too bad the reality is a tornado has hit and all we really can do is be happy we are still alive after the fact. Twisted love stories aside, when we do finally build up the confidence to lay our hand out to be taken by a real man, and not one from a fairytale, we must know that we are engaged in some stranger-danger.

We may have dated for 5 years or only 5 months but still the probability of failure and success stays the same. Just the other night I met a woman who was engaged and I asked her, “How long has she been with her fiance?” She casually replies two months and she’ll be married in three more, “It’s common in my culture” she added. Sure orthodox jews speed up the dating process and don’t even touch until the wedding night, but did that make their marriages any more or less successful? Numbers say the odds don’t discriminate regardless of what customs we practice but there definitely was something to what the rabbi said today.

It is from our absolute dedication to a solemn vow that makes the difference between romantic inquirers and life-long lovers. Dating to encounter as many experiences possible to discern what fits with an individual’s eccentric energy is a precarious pursuit with no guarantee and the hazardous hidden cost of heartbreak. Is it just best we stop searching, settle down, and tie a sturdy knot?

Devoting our lives to a man we know now doesn’t mean we will be married to that same man in the next fifteen years after time has worn him down to the truth. The question then seems to expand into wondering how to unlocking a man’s inner integrity. How can we find such a key if we are dealing with an incomplete and puzzling lock? We seem to forget that marriage is the most binding contract between two people especially when involving children.The whole thought process makes, “till death do us part” sound more like, “part of our own personal deaths.” So we better choose wisely and listen up,

How does one judge a man’s character only on what he has done today, and not what he will do in the future?     

I guess with Yom Kippur hanging over men and women’s heads alike, we can all agree only an infinite being is capable of having that answer.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below! We would love to hear your thoughts and for inquiries email: Victoriaantis1996@gmail.com Thanks, Shana Tova!

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Men and Women: Are Some Sexist Gender Roles Important?

There’s nothing like waking up in the early morning to go to a jewish learning center and hear a seriously sexist rabbi talk about men and women. Sitting in the classroom you begin to get thoughts like, “Does he really think that the world works this way? How much longer can someone sit through this brainwashing perspective? And I may agree that things were seriously messed up back in cavemen times but, really, this is how you see men and women?” The rabbi’s thoughts were that back in beginning of time when survival was the main focus and everything else was secondary, women traded sex for protection against the elements of the forest. Fine, we can understand women are not known to be big warriors with their larger fat to muscle ratio but, in times where we don’t just rape and pillage everything that comes our way one can safely say that women’s goals aren’t necessarily alined with that kind of thinking anymore. Maybe because women are capable of being just as fierce as their male counterparts, but more likely because we as a society are so far beyond that point where war and attraction are glorified things. Or at least we hope that beauty and strength aren’t the only two categories a human can fall into.  Beauty plus strength equals harmony.

That’s been a personal motto to help understand not the combined efforts of two individuals, but the inner spiritual combination of a whole independently functioning person. Sure, Beauty can meet Strength and they can fall happy in love for a time but without Beauty having a little strength of her own and Strength being void of any beauty it is a matter of common sense the two will lose interest. Besides beauty and strength are just expressions of power and they can both have varying expressions of mental, emotional, or physical beauty or strength, and because of this the balance of all these aspects in a person is way more complex than just being strong or handsome. Everyone is given the physical aspects by chance, we are given our authentic features for drawing in a mate to procreate with us and then we are given our muscle make up for the mechanics of survival. Though when it comes to our mental and emotional expression, it is likely that the artistic charm and robust might are cultivated with the learning curve of experience. And when it comes to being wise and experienced, nothing can help an individual learn more than from failure. From those failures we detect our deepest insecurities or better known as weaknesses. It’s true: We turn our weakness into strength.

But once we have this manifested strength it is still not enough to make us whole. We cannot self-actualize completely based only on the fact we slayed the dragon, we have to win the heart of beauty to know we claimed a prize worth fighting for in the first place. There is no point to having all this inherent power without the ability to love. So: We turn our strength into beauty.

A lot of old school sexist ideas are written into the code of our archetype simply because this is a perception us humans all encounter being equipped with the moral virtues gained from animal kingdom exile. We are blessed with the structure to have a society built on love and honor if those in question are righteous enough to up hold those values but don’t let these extreme feminist get in your head: some sexists ideas are in place for a purpose. It is not to say that women can’t be independent or strong, or that men cannot be codependent or emotional, it is to say that with both these two aspects of masculine and feminine running through each individual it is vital we articulate their unique qualities to draw new found strength and beauty.

A lot of what I am saying can be summed up from looking at the tarot cards of the magician, the high priestess, the empress, and the emperor.

Men’s ego are so huge mainly because it’s a survival instinct to protect and to do so, men are based off the principle of power. This inflation of ego allows them to put pressure on themselves to provide value and gain a position of leadership. But in order for this male to gain that status he must first have a talent for manifestation, be resourceful, and have inspired action to acquire his power. This state is rather primitive being that the man in question has his focus on the creation of self: The boy on the quest to become a man, otherwise known as the Magician.

Women’s emotions are so over developed to ensure that they can connect to relationships around them because they are based off a principle of love. This interconnection to other forms of life is bred into women’s character to give them the insight necessary for their survival. Their intuition guides them to to make decisions based off of the sacred knowledge that comes from the journey within. Were as the Magician is to go out into the world to prosper, the High Priestess goes into herself to use her subconscious understandings of emotional power. She sees that men’s power comes from being able to go out and give, so she uses her inner wisdom to retain and receive. She is complex and therefore is both an independent, yet an interdependent character on her ability to create a relationship between the spiritual and the physical. This is normally why we associate women with beauty because it is that relationship with the divine that makes us so virtuous.

Higher expressions of these two archetypes is the Empress and The Emperor. Now the woman learns to take what she’s received and retained and give back, “new life,” and the Emperor takes what he sought after to build the foundation for his leadership chair. Here women are Queens and men are Kings and they rule together. Whereas before the Magician and the High Priestess were only in a romantic mating phase that is trying to learn to take two completely opposing energies of masculine and feminine and turn them into complements, the two now create a powerful love relationship. The Empress and the Emperor give structure to the future of a family or even more ambitious: a nation.

The gender roles are not something meant to be confined to completely but by understanding what traits they express in each individual may we combine both the beauty and strength of masculine and feminine to actualize a holy harmony.        

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Right Guy, Wrong Time.

Walking through The street of Jerusalem, one could appreciate the aromas of fresh baked bread and the sight of happy families searching for some dinner in the shuk. Loud as the growls of a fasting stomach the thought kept flipping over in my mind. “The right guy at the wrong time is the wrong guy,” that’s what a friend said to me this morning. It must be true, time has spoken and it’s intuitive response was a no go. Most people run through relationships like they run through cell phones, and everyone always seems to be upgrading even if their phone is brand new. Something inside says there’s no point of getting a new device if the person using the technology doesn’t even know how to handle all its power.

When a woman goes through a breakup it’s vital to her self-image to enjoy the music of being single and take this next slow dance solo. Yeah, it’s a lot to ask to put ourselves in check and take ‘me,’ off the market. It takes serious self-control not to totally forget the emotional state we are in and focus in on our relationship with ourselves. Seeing so many amazing guys pass us by it gets deceiving knowing we aren’t ready to fall back in love with someone else. 

“Is he the one and I just don’t know it because I’m emotionally numb right now? Am I missing a blessing or is this just a test from the universe of how great is my moral character?” Tempted as we are to fill the void of one relationship with another, we all know that it’s impractical. He could be the most practical option, a Harvard graduate, a man who values family, a great conversationalist, and even treats you like a queen out in the real world and in the sheets, but still he couldn’t compete with the damage done to a broken heart.

“How long will it take?” we mourn the amount of time it takes like the impatience to break a fast. Growling to move on, we keep moving forward without a clue of direction only knowing it’s too painful to go back. “He wasn’t right for us,” we try to get ourselves to believe, but the second we see a faded picture of the past we remember the stain of his soul. He was our soul mate, for a time, and now that time has came and gone. Will we ever be able to feel that love for someone else? That deep eye contact that can last infinitely, “Can we really recreate that with someone else?”

In comes Mr.RightGuyattheWrongTime and he’s just so good to us, just so perfectly qualified for the position of boyfriend, and wants nothing more than your soul, but what good is a soul that feels split in two and are we really supposed to just jump back into passion payment plan without a commitment to self? Is life really swinging from one possible family tree to the next? With the ghost of a former lover haunting the newly bought home of a couple, it doesn’t matter how scared the connection, the two are bond to get spooked out.

So dear Mr.RightGuyattheWrongTime, I’m sorry but I must respectfully decline your offer to honor your time and protect my heart.

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How Important is Physical Attraction to a Woman?

The new year has put a lot of new thoughts into question about some jewish traditions. A rabbi once said to me, “The meeting is only important for the men to see the woman.” In jewish culture it is known that men and women meet each other for the first time already knowing a lot of intimate details about the other person but in order to assure the couple is an ideal match obviously the meeting is mandatory. At first thought one could think that was because both people would need to have chemistry to really know if they like each other but he reassured me, the meeting was for the man.

The rabbi clearly thought looks are not as important to women as men, but in reality that is just one big lie.

Talking about this guy I met at the beach, my friend asked, “Was he attractive?” I innately responded that, “It didn’t matter” but looking at a new pair of muscles and strong blue eyes earlier today, the statement had to be retracted. Physical attraction does matter. When we see someone as cute with a great build it’s built into our system to surrender to our senses. It matters more than we think it does, even though it’s not in the way we think of it does, because when we see strength in someone’s body we are programmed to see the endurance to lift us off our feet, literally.

Physical attraction is more than just the physical, however, it definitely includes the actually physicality of a person. Who do we actually see in the role of relationship and how does their look characterize the person we are with? Is his hair like a surfer’s? Does he always wear a buttoned up shirt? Why are his shoes so dirty? How genuine is his smile? Sight being the initial key sense but does he actually know how to use those lips, is he even a good talker?

Later in the day there was another very attractive male but somehow the aesthetic intrigue was falling flat and the silent conversation was the sound of its lack in luster. They say, “talk is cheap” and sometimes it’s nice to wonder if some hot guy could actually sweep us away into the sunset without all the fus of figuring out if he actually is as flawless as his face, but that’s no fairytale that’s a farce!

The truth rings our ears like a shofar being blown. Women need more than a pretty face and a nice body, but we want a man that takes care of how he appears. No one wants to date a hobo!

Then come to think of it, just like earlier, there are some men that could be absolutely breathtaking and yet there is not a thing about them that makes us want to jump in bed with them while Hairy Harry has got us hotter then a steam shower. And all because Harry knows how to use his words, not to mention his mouth. What do women want? Exactly that, women want attraction and that means to evoke interest, but only the interest of an investment worth desiring. It’s foolish to think that men value appearances more than women, mainly because obviously men base their attraction off of beauty, why would women not be designed like that too?

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Serve Me Up One of HIM!

Not too hot not too cold because for this foreign invader to be able to penetrate our princess’ palace the chemistry must be just right. Don’t get it mixed up, we experiment with the mixture. Try to calculate out any remaining factors but the common denominator is this: we want it in his kiss. Like a love song by a fabulous diva, if you want to know if he loves you so! Sure there could be fireworks of heat between two people but the hotness can just as easily evaporate into a faded sparkle while Mr.Sizzling slithers over to the next sale. We could be totally in love with a person only to find the lust died and Larry laid with Linda. So then what?

Be practical, logical, go with your reason. Your heart drove you down the gutter, but this time your mind is in the driver seat. Back on the road to success, the offers being thrown at us come from every corner and side street, but we stay in our lane. Normally the next stop on our destination is anything but the location we mapped out. Even more aimless the target we hit is usually a pit stop or worst a bump in the road! But for the sake of an argument let’s say we meet Mr.Right just as our engine is on empty, isn’t it absolutely wrong of us not to consider the longevity of our travels? We could of clicked-in all the necessary seat belts, have our airbags ready to go, but still we wouldn’t go anywhere without some gas in the tank. Not to mention Mr.Right is not Mr.Perfect so there’s bound to be general maintenance to be done, and who’s going to the shop for a mechanic when there’s no fuel? Even without switching the gear to drive we question it’s durability.

And ironically the next in the assembly line of possible suitors always tends to be the most polarized to the last relationship we gone through. With so many bouncing thoughts going back and forth, from this guy to someone else, testing one extreme to the next. We commit the number one deadly single girl sin: we compare and contrast. We couldn’t help it if we tried, we need to have more than faith to ensure that the chemical combination will leave us in the right climate for incubation. We search and research all the data to maintain the proper conditions of an environment that may facilitate the ideal relationship.

The perfect temperature is normally your middle man.

He’s the man right in the middle. Not too sweet, not too bitter, not too boring, not too fun, he’s at the midpoint. Directly in the center of all our needs, and even more appropriate he’s always exactly on time. Not too soon after a breakup but also not too late when we already have a husband and kids. He’s a timeless opportunity, the American Dream for women all over the world! And he’s completely fictional. Made up in our heads like a fairytale ending. The princess in a tower doesn’t always get rescued by her prince, sometimes she’s left there to be burned by her own inner beast or worst left to wrinkle away in time.

At the risk of being devoured by our own mental demons or becoming bleak and lifeless from using up our eggs, is there a gamble to picking the flower petals, “He loves me, He loves me not?” Funny enough sometimes when we play this little girl’s game we actually question, “Do I love him, do I love him not?”  Pick another petal and make a wish, we don’t all get a happy ending. Cup of coffee anyone?

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Men: There’s One Every Minute!

A woman from my oil painting class once said to me, “Men are like buses, there’s one every minute and some rides are less bumpy than others.” Don’t take her word for it, go out and look! I didn’t really believe her at first because at the time I was newly single and the only male I wanted time with was my cat. Even after a month of solitude I went back out into the grand globe with the gullible notion that since I wasn’t interested in guys, they too would lack interest in me! This was not the case. Moving to a new country with heavy baggage, breakup weight, and easily fried skin, I didn’t realize I was that much of a person of interest. One by one there would be some sort of suggestive second take involving creep eye contact, a way too happy smile back at me, or some person holding me longer in meaningless conversations starting with, “Where are you from?”

That’s not even a quarter of it either. Men at pizza places would speak Hebrew and then aggressively ask my friend if he was my boyfriend. Can’t a girl just order a vegan slice of pizza without the side of making a pass at me? Not to mention the awkward dance around actually needing place to crash for the night without trying to instigate a seriously sketchy situation, “I just need a place to crash are you sure I’ll I have my own place to sleep, or are you just going to try and take advantage of the situation here?” Talking with a brilliant and beautiful independent woman she states her frustrations as well, “What makes them so entitled to my time? I have important stuff I could be doing with my time why should it be wasted feeling bad for turning down attention I don’t want?” Valid statement because there is no argument about this there is definitely, “one every minute.” Look around ladies, to the left, to the right, downtown, uptown, or passed the corner, guys all over the place don’t care what emotional place a woman’s in, they don’t care if her physique isn’t up to her goal shape, or even if she has a career of her own. No, men all over the world pile up their offers to as many candidates possible and see if there’s any takers.

Could anyone imagine if women worked this way? Suddenly the guy we bump into at a falafel stand turns into dinner and movie merely because he flirted back, I don’t think so. Women don’t date off of chance, women don’t go out there looking just to look, women go out there to find their mate. Women are looking for something specific and sustainable. Don’t let the fairytales we love so much get it twisted, what we want is actually very simple and realistic! What we absolutely don’t want is a guy who will waste our time confusing us on that road to our story book ending! So why are we wasting our time?

Single and ready to mingle, but who are we actually mingling with? That’s why most of us girls feel there is not, “one every minute.” Women run around frantic to find that ‘one,’ the ‘other-half,’ the missing piece to this never-ending puzzle we are trying to solve and the worst is once a woman has felt she found a partner that even subtly suggests they could be candidate material we attach. “Johnny likes sushi, has a six figure salary, and loves his mother plus he’s wicked in bed and a killer on the eyes! Where will I find another hot stable guy that likes sushi and actually remembers to call his mother like this?” The instinct of scarcity slides back in and we lose sight of several other suitors. Even when Johnny turns out to be texting Sally-on-the-side in front of our face a thought passes, “he did take me out to dinner all weekend long he must just miss his friends.”

Once a woman has locked a man into this unattainable ideal she’ll do anything to keep him propped up there for the fear of going out in the world of very scarce quality matches. We cling and hold onto anything somewhat satisfying out of fear, “What if there’s nothing better than what I already have?” With so much to conquer in this matrix and a time limit stated, the personal question of scarcity that takes it a step further asks, “What if there’s nothing better than being alone?” If there’s one every minute and there’s no time to waste, “why bother being in a relationship with these time wasters?” Who cares if someone immediately sees a person as smart, funny, independent, and beautiful, if that person doesn’t see that within themselves they will never be ready to date. It maybe a little bleak but think about it, even if a woman finds a ten out of ten perfect guy if she doesn’t believe she herself is one worthy of him she will never be able to meet him, “face to face.” So why even bother with relationships when we are all intimately involved in a story line of independence? Besides, there’s one every minute.

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Happily Ever After.

We have all heard of the fairytale, the one where the prince slays the dragon and saves the princess. The last lines in those stories are always, “And they lived happily ever after.” Happily ever after in reality is not that difficult to achieve. No man is defeating a giant beast to get into your pants and even more perplexing he doesn’t even have to put a ring on it to get his way. Instead courting has become a thing of confusing crossroads a bunch of unperceived obstacles of yes or no. It would seem like an empowering feat for us women, yet most of us girls are just trying to discern what rings our bell as truth. We try on and change men like clothes in a dressing room all to find the right fit. Then suddenly out of complete random chance we find it, the perfect outfit that hugs our specific curvy figure just right. This is otherwise known as our first real love. We fantasize our wedding day, the house will have, and even names we may call our future kids. But what really happens after happily ever after, is we begin to discover it’s really more significant what actually happens after. Does Prince Charming have any unusual corks? Are you not such a pretty pretty princess after all? What witchcraft can be done to sustain a healthy hot and heavy union? Do we need some kind of magic spell to make him spellbound for life? And what about us, can we preserve our passion through the perils of partnership? How long does love last between two lusting lurkers, and how well does it hold up against a couple paired on practicality? At first thought one may say a relationship built on lust is a shakier foundation but the fundamentals in a combined team make the separation from friends to lovers. Some people say, “it’s better to marry someone who loves you more.” Doesn’t that thought seem a bit bleak. It’s a dark life when one sets themselves up to be engaged in a commitment one does not really love, especially when that promise is for life. “To death till we part,” we say but what death are we referring to, his, her’s, or their love? 

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