You Can Be A Dating Mentor
A Brief Look at What it Takes to Be a Dating Mentor
Miriam is a seminary teacher and guidance counselor with three teenage children and a home that has always been open to guests. She and her husband have had the privilege of hosting young women from all walks of yiddishkeit at their Shabbos table and have forged a lasting connection with many of them. Several of these women have felt comfortable confiding in Miriam and have asked her advice about a number of issues, including dating. She has answered their questions about dating, acted as a sounding board, helped put issues in perspective, and occasionally met their dating partners. Miriam has also been a “handholder” for a few nervous kallahs and once helped one of her “girls” find a good therapist.
Miriam doesn’t have any special training as a dating mentor. She has good insight and excellent judgment, and learned a great deal about issues relating to dating through life experience and her work with her students. She is a “natural” as a dating mentor. Some people simply have that natural ability, which is enhanced by the “lessons” they learn from life.
You may also have that natural ability to relate to others. Those qualities, along with good insight, judgment, and discretion, are just waiting to be tapped by daters who may be your students, friends, relatives, co-workers, or neighbors. Many of them would welcome guidance from a perspective that they and their fellow daters don’t have. Some of them may have already asked for your advice.
You may have been reluctant to offer your listening ear or to answer their questions about dating because you don't feel qualified. Miriam gained knowledge through hands on experience with her students. You may wonder – if I don’t have that background, how will I know enough to be helpful?
If you genuinely desire to mentor singles and can relate well to other people, you can acquire the knowledge that can help you become an effective dating mentor. The best mentors are men and women who have very positive attitudes about marriage in general and their own marriage in particular, aren’t judgmental, and can make time in their lives to be helpful to a single they know. If you’re interested in mentoring, here’s how to get started:
1. Read some of the many excellent books that can help you gain insight into the mindset of daters and the issues they deal with. Here are some suggestions:
Head to Heart by Gila Manolson
Dating Smart by Sasson V'Simcha's Sherry Zimmerman and Rosie Einhorn
I Only Want to be Married Once by Chana Levitan
The Inner Circle by Shaya Ostrov
Guide To The Romantically Perplexed by Lisa Aiken
Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus by John Gray
You can find a more extensive list of books here.
2. Attend a Sasson V'Simcha Art of Date Mentoring/Coaching workshop or webinar. Founders Rosie Einhorn, L.C.S.W. and Sherry Zimmerman, J.D., M.Sc. will share with you some of the knowledge they've acquired through over 30 years’ experience working with singles and with matchmakers, teachers, rabbis, and community leaders.
3. Familiarize yourself with some of the more than 350 articles Rosie and Sherry have written for www.aish.com, and well as the articles and pointers on dating on this website.
4. Contact us for information about Sasson V'Simcha's “shadow mentoring” project, where Rosie, Sherry, or other experienced mentors can give you pointers on how to effectively work with someone you’re mentoring.
While Rosie, Sherry, and some of the mentors they've trained are professionals who charge a fee for their sessions, many successful mentors are well-informed amateurs who want to advise a limited number of people. Both professionals and amateurs can make a big difference, and there aren't enough mentors to serve the many men and women who want mentoring help. Please contact us if you’d like more information about how you can become a dating mentor.