In anticipation of the return of RHONJ, this blog was originally posted on November 13, 2013.
I recently got a tweet from matchmaker and relationship expert Siggy Flicker telling me she was a fan of this blog and thought I was a brave and honest writer. It was lovely, and a big deal because I think Siggy is great and am a fan of hers. I first became aware of her through The Wendy Williams Show, and once I discovered her, I read her articles and thought she had an interesting perspective on dating and relationships. It was sweet of her to speak so kindly about my work and not point out the obvious, that my recent relationships have not ended well.
I reached out to Siggy and asked her if she would be up for an interview. Partly because she is fascinating and I thought you would enjoy meeting her, but also because I figured I could get some advice and guidance. She is a no holds barred woman and manages to be brutally honest without being mean. Unlike a certain matchmaker on Bravo, Siggy is classy, enlightened, experienced, and has a history that makes her an expert. I learned things about Siggy I did not know, and just loved her.
Siggy and I actually have a lot in common. We were both born in Israel, both of our fathers fought in the Six Day War, and both of our families immigrated to North America after the war. We are close to the same age, have the same boldness gene, both speak our minds, and are both quite funny. The big difference, and the one I am interested in, is that when is comes to relationships and finding someone worthy of you, Siggy not only has the answers, she has a way of speaking that makes you understand.
Siggy was raised to respect herself and not compare herself to anyone else. She didn’t need to worry about what other girls wore, or how they did their hair, or who they dated. She needed to be the best Siggy she could be, and that would be enough. She went through her own trials Andy tribulations as a young adult, and even when things were difficult, she reminded herself there were others who were struggling more than her, and the key was to see her blessings and know that she was in charge of her life and opportunities.
Siggy met her first husband at a Jewish singles event. They were married, lived in Florida, and had two beautiful children. She was unhappy and it took her three years to walk away from her marriage, and how she managed her divorce is truly remarkable. Siggy describes her first husband Mark as the perfect ex-husband. They put the needs and feelings of their children first and have managed to do what very few couples are able to do, and that is raise their children as parents, even though they are no longer married.
Siggy wanted to be her true, opinionated, open, brazen, bold, uninhibited, and fabulous self. Leaving her marriage was a necessity in terms of her personal happiness, but she loved who her husband was as a dad and no matter how sad and difficult the divorce was, she remembered who he was to her, what he meant to her, and his role as a father. Not only did she maintain a good relationship with her ex, when she remarried years later, first husband Mark was best man for her second husband Michael.
Yes. You read that right. Her first husband was best man at her second wedding. Can you imagine? Can you even wrap your head around the message that sends to their children? She is my hero. I not only adore her, but I respect and admire these two remarkable men. It is her personal path and experience that make Siggy so great, and even though I am unable to relate to her divorce, I relate to her as a woman. Not only the woman that I want to be, but the woman I know I am. Siggy had some sage advice.
Siggy says that when dating, go out with married or unavailable friends. You wouldn’t take a bunch of other candidates with you on a job interview, so don’t take other singles with you to prowl. Never thought of it that way. Brilliant. Have a cheering section with you that builds you up and reminds you are worthy. When you meet a man, you not only want him to step up to the plate, you want him to go to bat and make a real effort to hit it out of the park. That hit home with me in a rather profound way.
When I spoke of my past couple of relationships, Siggy let me have it. She was firm and clear that I was not with the right men and that "rejection is God’s protection". Love that. She told me I need to be selfish and do things just for me. Get out there and enjoy something I love and it would open my heart and mind. I’m not sure what that thing will be, but I will find it. She reminded me I need to be aware because I could go somewhere and perhaps not meet the man of my dreams, but I could meet his sister. We must broaden our perspective.
Siggy told me we need to look up and pay attention. People tend to look down and avoid eye contact, but eye contact is important. It is when we look that we will see possibilities, so we owe it to ourselves to look up and see what we are meant to see. Amen. When it comes to sex, Siggy used a fantastic analogy. When you read a book you don’t start on chapter 8, so when dating, don’t start with sex because you are skipping a lot of chapters. Take your time and let someone earn the privilege of being with you.
I spoke with Ms. Flicker for an hour and could have chatted all day. She was kind and smart and allowed me to look at my recent disappointments with a new perspective. Dating is hard and love is difficult to find, but the only way I will meet the right someone is if I don’t give up. By the end of our talk she was trying to fix me up with someone, and even though I cried when I got off the phone with her, mostly from emotional exhaustion, I made a date for this weekend because she won’t let me give up on myself or love, reminding me to keep the faith.
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