- Miriam Miller
The E Quotient
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Have you ever had a situation where you were sure you made the best possible choices and you still ended up feeling like an utter failure?
“How could this be happening?”, you've asked yourself again and again.
Could it be you were missing ‘The E Quotient’?
Never heard of it, eh?
So let’s illustrate:
At twenty three, Devorah Gold was blessed with the three B’s; brilliant, beautiful and benevolent. But one B was missing; her failed efforts to become a ‘bride’.
With her parent’s facilitation, she had met several fine young men, but she rarely got past the second or third date.
Was it because of her secret?
Long ago, Devorah had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And being that Devorah was a mature, organized and responsible young woman, she kept her illness under control with no secondary problems. Her doctor described her health as just about equal to any vibrant young woman with no reason to be concerned about infertility or reduced life expectancy.
Because Devorah belonged to a community who might see her as ‘unhealthy’, the Golds preferred to keep her medical condition under-wraps; no one knew that she was diabetic. But when it came time to seek her life partner, her parents were uncertain about how long they could keep the secret.
So as responsible parents, the Golds took counsel with their Rabbi, and were advised that they should maintain their secret until the boy is interested in a third date – at that stage they must tell him about Devorah’s medical condition.
Devorah and her parents accepted this advice, and proceeded accordingly.
But they never included the E Quotient…
Let’s suppose that following two dates both Devorah and the young man she meets see potential. Subtle currents of excitement are just beginning to tickle the heart …could this relationship develop?
But now Mr. Gold does his duty – he notifies the young man’s parents (and never the matchmaker – the matchmaker must not know about Devorah’s condition) in order to divulge their secret. There is an uncomfortable silence on the other end of the phone, until the parent with whom Mr. Gold is speaking says something like; “Thank you so much for calling. We’ll give it some thought and get back to you.”
And time after time, that has translated into ‘No, thank you, best of luck to Devorah.”
And after this scenario repeats itself several times, what do you suppose happened to our heroine, Devorah?
She no longer allows herself to feel the slightest flutter of hope.
She already knows from the first moment she meets someone that he is likely to say no, so she girds herself with a protective shell so she doesn’t get too close.
And without realizing it, she begins to present herself on dates in a stiffer, more formal, less engaging and animated way. She holds herself back – best not to invest so much emotional energy just to be rejected at the end.
And usually, the boys, who are not really seeing the genuine Devorah, say ‘no’ after the first date – there’s nobody to connect with.
The E Quotient is the emotional quotient.
It might make a lot of sense from a logical vantage point to honor their secret by not disclosing it to any boy who doesn’t demonstrate interest – but what is the emotional fallout of this decision for Devorah?
How can she feel good about herself, and transmit a vibrant energy to her suitor if she’s already steeling herself for the anticipated rejection?
How can she connect if she feels that society will see her as damaged? And if they disclose the information of her diabetic condition as if ‘revealing the bombshell secret’, will it in fact inflate the gravity of the situation due to the dramatic revelation? Isn’t that the opposite of what they intend when they want the suitor to see it as a manageable component of their daughter’s lifestyle?
The purpose of this discussion is certainly not to accuse the Rabbi, the Golds or Devorah of criminal activity – it is clear that all parties are extremely well intended and are following a protocol that is common to Jewish dating. However, had the parties considered how this will affect Devorah emotionally, and what that might do for her chances to marry, they might consider whether this approach is inhibiting rather than accelerating Devorah’s chances of getting to that final ‘b’ for bride.
What would happen if the Golds would reveal this information in advance of the first meeting? Would it prevent a suitable candidate from so much as giving Devorah a chance? Would it help to be working with a matchmaker who is extra skilled at how to frame these kinds of life – circumstances? And most significantly, would consideration of the E Quotient allow Devorah to feel more relaxed from the first meeting, knowing that she can be herself, be open and forthcoming, and the young man could see what a spectacular young woman she is – insulin and all?
So the next time you feel a bit down from lack of success, consider where your E Quotient was not factored in, and whether addressing emotional consequences might increase your chances to attain your greatest dreams.