Bashert

The first issue of Kallah Magazine featured an article on bashert, which is archived here.
 The romantic delusions about finding "the One" or a soulmate can actually sabotage a relationship. That fact has been scientifically researched and documented, as I found in the new Psychological Science study on online dating:

One major problem with searching for one’s soulmate is that the belief that a partner must be a soulmate for a romantic relationship to succeed is associated with relationship dysfunction (Eidelson & Epstein, 1982; Epstein & Eidelson, 1981). Indeed, people with strong beliefs in romantic destiny (sometimes called soulmate beliefs)—that a relationship between two people either is or is not “meant to be”—are especially likely to exit a romantic relationship when problems arise (Franiuk, Cohen, & Pomerantz, 2002; Franiuk, Pomerantz, & Cohen, 2004; Knee, 1998; Knee & Bush, 2008) and to become vengeful in response to partner transgressions
when they feel insecure in the relationship (Finkel, Burnette, & Scissors, 2007). On the other hand, people with strong beliefs in romantic  growth (sometimes called work-it-out beliefs)—that happy relationships emerge from overcoming challenges—are especially likely to persist and succeed when confronting problems.
Destiny/soulmate beliefs have long been encouraged by themedia (Galician, 2004; Holmes, 2007), but the pervasiveness of online dating sites’ soulmate-related claims may well be exacerbating this general trend. Consistent with this possibility, a January 2011 poll indicated that 73% of Americans believe in soulmates, up from 66% six months earlier (MaristPoll, 2011). To be sure, a destiny/soulmate mindset predicts better outcomes when people believe that they have found their soulmate and when relationships are going well (Finkel et al., 2007; Franiuk et al., 2002; Knee, 1998; Knee & Bush, 2008). However, almost all romantic relationships eventually encounter significant stresses and strains (for a review, see Bradbury & Karney, 2010), which suggests that this mindset is likely to undermine relationship well-being over the long-run.

The key thing is not to use bashert in the negative way but in the positive. That is one should not say that if there are any bumps down the road in the relationship it indicates that it was not bashert: "I married the wrong person, which is why we're having problems." Rather one should see it as "I've married my bashert, and now it is up to us to make this the best relationship possible. 


related post: http://www.examiner.com/jewish-bridal-in-new-york/the-ultimate-marriage-manual

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