People have been celebrating important milestones in their lives like birthdays and anniversaries for centuries. Over the past decades, western society has taken to marking a day to celebrate people who have been important in our lives from mothers and fathers to secretaries and administrative professionals.
It is time to add another: Non-Bashert Day for past relationships.
While Valentine’s Day is to celebrate current relationships, Non-Bashert Day is to recognize prior relationships that helped crystalize the priorities for the current (or future) coupling.
The perfect “soul mate” in Judaism is referred to as a “bashert.” It is based on the idea that a “bashert” person was preordained by the heavens to be the ideal match. However, most people do not start with their “bashert,” and need to go through many dates and relationships to help develop the model for a perfect spouse. Dating is not weeding out the “non-basherts” until the soul mate is found, but critical to develop a framework of how to think about love, relationships and themselves.
Whether past relationships were good or bad, short-term or long-term, dating informs each person about what is needed to build a meaningful life with someone. Those people should be acknowledged.
Wishing a past boyfriend of girlfriend a happy Non-Bashert Day is not a sign that someone wants to reenter an old relationship, but an acknowledgement of the significant part in one’s life that the past friendship imbued.
Enjoy Valentine’s Day with your special someone, and consider sending a short pleasant note the next day on Non-Bashert Day to the other people who, while not appropriate for you, were nevertheless important in the direction of your life.