Beyond Yearbook Predictions

On a recent flight to Chicago for a friend’s son’s wedding, I found myself reminiscing about high school days and wondering what journey life has taken my old classmates on. (For those who don’t know – I went to school in Chicago for my last 2 years of high school, even though I am from Brooklyn.) I have only been back once since I graduated and was about to see classmates I haven’t seen in… well, let’s say it’s been a while! 😉 The thought of reconnecting with old friends was both thrilling and a little nerve-wracking.

Being mindful of others’ journeys

Thinking back to those high school yearbooks and the infamous “Most Likely to…” section, I couldn’t help but chuckle. How many of us are living up to those predictions? “Most Likely to Get Married First,” “Most Likely to Have 12 Kids,” “Most Likely to Be a High-Powered Attorney.”—life has a knack for taking us on journeys filled with unexpected twists and turns, and only Hashem knows the destination. Most of us probably didn’t end up exactly where our classmates or even we ourselves thought we would!

Reuniting with people after years means lots of catching up, but it’s important to tread carefully with our questions. You never know what silent battles someone might be facing. We all have our public facade, what people see, but there are often challenges behind the scenes. Keep your remarks neutral.

Here are a few sensitive topics to avoid:


“I can’t believe someone like you is still single!”—this can feel like a criticism rather than a compliment and can be quite hurtful.


“How many kids do you have?” might seem innocent, but for someone struggling with infertility, it can sting.


“How long have you been married?” could be tough for someone who’s recently divorced or going through a rough patch.


“What do you do for a living?”—they might be in between jobs or navigating a career crisis.


“How are your parents?”—not everyone’s family dynamics are rosy; there could be illness or loss.


“Have you lost weight?”—while well-meaning, it might not be the compliment you think it is.

Instead, try open-ended questions like, “What’s new with you?” or “What have you been up to?” This lets people share what they’re comfortable with.

This sensitivity applies to all social events and situations, not just reunions. Whether it’s a wedding, a casual get-together, or bumping into someone on the street, it’s important to be mindful. Avoiding potentially hurtful questions can make a big difference in someone’s day.

Hashem’s Plan

Everyone’s journey is unique, often taking unexpected turns that we never could have predicted. While we may have our own plans and visions for our lives, Hashem’s plan is usually different—and always for the best, even if it’s hard to see at the moment. Each person you meet is on their own path, facing their own challenges and triumphs.

We can create a more compassionate and supportive environment by being mindful and sensitive in our interactions. Recognize that everyone is fighting their own battles, some visible and some hidden. Approach conversations with kindness and an open heart, knowing that a simple act of empathy can make a profound difference in someone’s day.

Remember, it’s not just about the destination or the life we envisioned. It’s about embracing the journey, appreciating the connections we make, and offering kindness along the way. Let’s strive to be a source of support and positivity, understanding that our words and actions have the power to uplift those around us.

Subscribe to our Email List

Stay in the loop! Get our top-notch dating and relationship advice straight to your inbox.