“A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.”
From The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach.
An engagement is the beginning of a process. Your engagement is a beginning to the life that you can imagine sharing together. Engagement is a “time trial” where you watch and learn about each other and yourselves, and the uniqueness of your relationship. This is a time of hope and anticipation.
Some couples execute an engagement document called tenaim which outlines the conditions of the marriage and declares the couple’s intention to wed. This is followed by the breaking of a plate, usually by the mothers of the bride and groom. Symbolically it reflects that a broken engagement cannot be mended.
Our deep wish is for our children to find happiness as adults – including a loving partner. Seeing our children get engaged, their next doorway in life, can be the fulfillment of a dream.
In Jewish history, many parents selected their children’s spouses and entered betrothal contracts with conditions (tenaim) as first steps toward the later marriage contract (ketubah) and wedding canopy (chuppah). Today, most couples find each other and plan their own weddings. As children get engaged, modern Jewish parents still can honor and bless their children – and their children’s life partners – in this poignant moment of becoming, letting go and making space for a growing family.