She offers her clients a pithy lesson of one, five, and ten. If marriage is your goal, then choose no more than five mentors to assist you. Ben Shalom advises to choose someone who has been married for more than five years and who has shown wisdom and a history of good decisions.
Then, choose ten or fewer people to date until you pick your spouse.
She also readily refers clients to other professionals for therapy, diet counseling, or personal organization (clutter management).
What does she think of speed dating (a phenomenon that’s not so popular in the Philadelphia area, where singles have the opportunity to sit and engage with each other individually in a focused, limited time — usually several minutes)?
Her successful connections, made through her Shabbat hospitality at her family’s table and her volunteer work for the Saw You At Sinai dating website, have led her to launch her business, “Marriage Minded Mentor,” in February 2012.
To date, she has brought 14 clients to the wedding Her 132-page book, Get Real Get Married, hit the stores today (Tuesday). Raised Conservative and formerly known as Lisa Caplan, Ben Shalom studied Jewish studies, children’s literature, and environmental studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
Some clients have met with Ben Shalom’s refusal to arrange meetings during a period of transition.
In addition to personal statistics and biographical data, she asks her clients to reflect on who they are and what they are looking for.
A crucial advice by Ben Shalom is not to look for what the mentors want instead of what you want, because that could lead to shaky relationships.
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Even after the wedding, she fields calls from former clients asking if some particular issue or conflict is typical to other marriages.