Category Archives: dating

Had to Post This

Was at the store with Lenny (16.5) – he saw this sign and quipped “and this is why there is a shidduch crisis!”

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Moving On

It’s always hard when other people move on with their life, and leave you in the dust. Sometimes it’s friends getting married first, having babies first, graduating first. Other times it’s a lot more painful – an ex spouse moving ahead with their life and settling down anew with someone else.

I remember the day clearly when I got the call that my ex was moving on. It was a while after our Get (a year probably), but extremely soon after our civil divorce was granted. Like, within hours.

We had both had time to grieve our marriage and I knew he was dating again – the kids kept no secrets no matter how much they were told to stay quiet. I had started to date, but I wasn’t fully invested in it. I just wasn’t ready.

He gave me the courtesy of calling me first to let me know that he would be telling the kids that night – he had them for dinnertime – that he was engaged and would be getting married. I wanted to wish him mazel tov, but the words stuck in my throat. I had an hour or two until he was going to pick the kids up from my apartment and I couldn’t say a word to them. I also couldn’t fall apart in front of them either.

The minute they left, I called up a friend to vent. I was in tears. It wasn’t about me still wanting to be with him – that ship had totally sailed. It was about the fact that how could he be ready to move on with his life, when I was still alone and, truthfully, still grieving for our 12-year marriage. And it was too soon. And who is she, will she be nice to my boys? Yes, there was also “what does she have that I didn’t?” – but even as I was thinking that, I knew it was irrational.

I am glad I heard the news from him, and not from the boys. He did the right thing by calling me first. When the KoD  and I got engaged, I did the same thing. It’s common courtesy and it should not be discounted.

The day they got married was a tough one. The boys were not at their wedding as it happened abroad. But they talked about it. It hurt. I hadn’t yet met my Mr Right and here he is all happily married and posting wedding pics on Facebook.

Looking back I wish I hadn’t wasted all those tears. Look who I found! I met my KoD a few months later and my life has been sunshine and roses ever since (well, apart from the immigration saga). But when you are not the first to move on it really does hurt. It isn’t necessarily logical, it’s visceral, it’s painful,  but it does pass.

Heinous or Harmless – Hair Covering and Dating

I have a friend “Roni” who was unfortunately widowed a while ago. She is the mother of young children trying to bring them up as grounded as possible, without a husband at her side. She has finally decided to take the plunge back into the dating world.

Roni is religious, and has continued to cover her hair (mostly with hats and scarves, occasionally a wig). She has spiritual and communal reasons to do so, and is not looking to change that. If she wanted, she could probably get a heter (rabbinical dispensation) to uncover, but she doesn’t want to, and is not interested in it at all.

She recently started dating a nice young man, someone who had never been married before. A man willing to take on her children and to follow a good solid marriage. A tall order!

But the hair covering thing is an issue for him. Officially, he says that he feels that this is a decision left to the woman he marries however on their first date he immediately asked Roni why she still covers, and was concerned that if someone he knew saw them, they would think he was out with a married woman. Roni tried to explain her feelings and conflict to him as best she could. She thought it was tabled.

In her words:

During our last conversation, we really shared a lot and I finally began to feel like we were becoming more comfortable with each other. I was getting high hopes for our third date, which would clearly be more relaxed and maybe help me sort out my feelings about him. Then at the end of the conversation, he asked me if I would consider not covering my hair while out on dates. I told him I needed to think about it, and maybe even consult a Rav.

But here’s the thing. I don’t want to go out in public with my head uncovered. I don’t feel like I am “there.” Also, I find inconsistency in observance due to circumstance to be inauthentic. I know women who don’t cover at work or on vacation and I have always felt it strange and didn’t get the rationale. But I don’t judge them because of how personal this issue is. It is a really hard Halachah for some, and I give them credit for what they are able to do. But to take a stance of I only cover [going to shul, doing carpool and getting groceries] or I don’t cover on dates, doesn’t sit well with me.

Roni asked me what she should do – she likes the guy. He is decent, there is some chemistry, he’d be a great male role model for her kids. But the fact that he asked her to uncover her hair when she is with him in public really poured cold water on the whole deal.

So dear readers, was this heinous or harmless on his part? What would you advise Roni to do?

What defines picky?

I love when my readers send me questions – I am going to answer this one briefly, and then turn it over to you, my loyal and knowledgeable blog readers.

Hi,

I stumbled upon your blog and had a question for the Royal Highness QoH. How many [shidduch] dates is it normal for a guy to go on? I’m trying to determine at what point does one get the title ‘picky’.

Your humble servant,

Y

Well Y, you give me no indication of your age, but I am going to assume you are a young man at that time in his life when school is over, and it’s time to settle down and get married, have kids, take on a mortgage and pay tuition. (Run while you can – j/k).

You are looking for a woman who will share the rest of your life with you – 50 plus years. Pickiness, I would think, needs to be present in some form or another, otherwise you’d marry the first girl that came along, whether or not she’s right for you.

Now, if the reason you are rejecting certain girls is a petty one (she’s not a size 4 or her eyes are the wrong colour), then yes, you may label yourself as “picky” but if you are dating, going out, but the magic isn’t happening yet – don’t despair. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right one. (A friend of mine dated 57 men. She married the 58th – does that make her picky?)

I will tell you this – dating is frustrating for sure, and add in the societal pressure in our communities to be married – oy – but you have to do things at your own pace so you get it right.

Look, Y, I finally found my KoD – and he was worth all the stress and the dating horror stories and the angst and the whole ball of wax. Hang in there, stay focused and good luck.

So readers, can you weigh in? What would you like to tell Y?

WWYD – Shidduchim / Marriage

Shamelessly taken off a messageboard:

A kallah [bride] asked me to post this and solicit your opinions.

The kallah is in her late 20s, and smoked 1/2 a pack a day from age 13 until just a few weeks ago. Does she have to tell the chosson [groom]? She thinks he might have noticed, but they have never discussed it.

(p.s. There is no “warning signs” to be seen here. She just wants to do the right thing. )

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Medical Reports in dating – Heinous or Harmless

From Hashkafa.com

Can I see a medical report about your sexual / emotional health? Is this an appropriate question when dating BTs?

Is this done? Is it offensive? Is it considered a reasonable request?

Is it taboo to talk to a date about their previous sexual history, what kind of people they’ve had relationships with, what happened, did they get their fingers burnt, did they need therapy, did they get so badly grossed out or hurt by a previous partner that they now have fears, anxieties or inhibitions, did they ever get raped by a previous partner or some other random party goer? Was the rape first degree, second degree or what? Did they ever do drugs? Are there any long term consequences of their drug use?

I just read the above paragraphs on hashkafah.com and I am a little disturbed. Obviously the person posing the question feels that this is something that should be done. I think my issue with the question is if you ask this of BTs, you have to ask of ALL the people you date – BTs, FFBs, converts, everyone. Don’t discriminate. But I am not even sure if this is appropriate at all. Thoughts?

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How to identify a cheater

Apparently, according to Dr Phil, in this article, a man whose ring finger is longer than his index is more likely to be unfaithful. Yes indeed. Apparently this longer ring finger happens because of an excess of testosterone in utero – and this leads to having the cheating gene. Players, those who have many partners, have a busier brain scan that their more boring one-partnered counterparts.

Sigh, what next? As part of the shidduch criteria do we now have to measure fingers and have brains scans so that we can predict a man’s ability for potential monogamy?

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Heinous or Harmless – dating world

You have a single girlfriend who is, as they say, in the parsha ie dating for marriage. She needs guidance. You are sympathetic to her story and want to help her all you can. However she prefers to speak with your husband, finds his advice more helpful for some reason. You have no reason to distrust her, but it makes you uncomfortable. Hubby thinks you are over reacting – it’s not like either of them are hiding their conversations from you.

Is this appropriate? Should single women be calling a married man for advice about anything? For that matter, should married women call someone else’s husband for advice about anything? Eg furniture, cars, politics etc.

What are your thoughts?

(not my story, not my husband)

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WWYD – Two Timer

Your friend is dating Mr X. Seriously dating, as in talking marriage. You happen to hear from somewhere else that the same Mr X is actually dating someone else as well, in a different city. Upon further investigation it becomes obvious that he is two-timing both of these women. Do you tell your friend? Do you tell her he was seen with someone else in a different city and offer to give her the number of the person that knows the other woman he is dating, for verification purposes? Do you stay silent? Do you tell yourself it is none of your business but gently hint that he may not be right for her?

WWYD??

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Matchmaker frustration

Long time reader and commenter Sheldan sent me the following last week. I decided to post it in its entirety so the rest of you could also read and comment.

Hadassah,

This Shabbat I was reading the April 2 issue of the Jewish Press and the “Im Yirtzeh Hashem…By You” column.  Here is the article in its entirety:

Dear IY”H:

I wasn’t super-young (not in my 20s) when I got married, and thus was in the singles scene for quite a while.  I am no longer a newlywed, but still at that happy stage–as I am so thankful to finally be married.  But I am still not so far past my single days that I have forgotten all the drama and woes of being single.  With those facts as background, I try as much as possible to be involved in shidduchim on a volunteer basis.  I have been on committees for singles events, and everywhere I go I meet and speak to people, trying to get a sense of what they are looking for.

A while back I met a sweet young girl and her mother at a simcha, and a few months ago I met a woman who is looking for a shidduch for her son.  Based on what I know of the woman, I figured that if the boy is anything like his mother, he might be a good shidduch for the girl I met at the simcha.

As per standard procedure, I was to get the girl’s information and pass it on to the boy’s mother so they could begin looking into the prospective shidduch.  But when I called the girl’s mother, she refused to give me the needed information.  She wanted me to first give her the boy’s information because, the thinking goes, why should they even start the process if the mother hears something and decides that the shidduch is not shayach.

I agree, but usually the boy’s family first makes that determination.  I explained this to the girl’s mother, telling her that the boy’s mother does not want to put any more effort than her into this possible shidduch that may not be shayach.  I added that since we’re on the phone anyway, and since this is the way the things are generally done, I would like some basic information about the girl to get the process started.  And besides, if she wants me to have her daughter in mind for other boys, I would still need that basic information.  After all, how can I think of boys for her when all I know about her is what she looks and sounds like, along with a very basic sketch of the personality type she is looking for.

Once I put it that way, the girl’s mother seemed to be more willing to comply with my request for her daughter’s “shidduch resume.”  But then she said that she was in the middle of something when I called, and that she’d get back to me with the information I requested.  Months later, I’ve yet to hear from her.

I did not call the boy’s mother for her son’s information (to share with the girl’s mother) because that is simply not the way things are done.  I figured that if the girl’s mother were serious about finding a shidduch for her daughter, she would have gotten back to me.  After all, she has much more to gain from this than I do.

My time is limited and I am not being paid for this.  I have my own life and obligations, as well as other calls to make regarding potential shidduchim.  Am I asking too much by seeking people’s cooperation with me, especially when I am merely following common protocol?

I am beginning to think that parents’ lack of cooperation is a major contributing factor to the growing numbers of “older” singles, with the age of being considered “older” constantly getting pushed back.  (When I was younger, a 22-year-old girl was considered “starting to get older” whereas now, 22 is considered young.)

If volunteer shadchanim like me, who expect nothing in return, are met with resistance by the singles’ parents, it is not such a great mystery as to why girls are 22 and still single.

Having married later in life compared to my peers, I try to be a little bit more understanding regarding the plight of singles.  It seems that singles do not have a chance for success because they do not even get to go out in the first place.

What are your thoughts on this issue?  My strong reaction may be going a bit too far–but can you blame me?  Wouldn’t you be frustrated?

Sincerely,

A Wannabe Shadchan Who Feels Unwanted

[Sheldan] After thinking about this letter, I suddenly had a strong reaction.  I don’t think I am comfortable writing back to IY”H, but I think I would feel comfortable in a forum like yours to air this.

This is my opinion:  When I kept reading about “standard procedure,” “the way things are done,” and “common protocol,” I got the same reaction that former Indianapolis Coach Jim Mora had when someone from the press asked him to comment about his team’s chances of making the playoffs:

“PLAYOFFS?!”

(In case your readers didn’t catch the reference, I am sure that it can be Googled, and there was a commercial for Coors beer that lampooned Coach Mora’s response.)

Somehow, my brain kept screaming, “PROTOCOL?!”

To the letter writer:  The more I think about what you are writing, I think that you are well-meaning, but your insistence on doing things “the way things are done” is actually interfering with your chances of success.  Several times in the letter, you kept insisting that since “this is the way things are done,” your prospective shidduch’s mother should automatically do things your way.

If you are asking if you are asking too much for demanding that people “cooperate” with you exactly as you define it or you will not pursue it, I would say yes.  I think that harping on “the way things are done” shows little respect for the way the parents think things “should be done.”

First, if the shidduch is not shayach, what difference does it make which side put more effort into research?  The girl’s mother has every right to find out the same information about the boy that the boy’s mother has to find out about the girl.  Maybe the girl’s mother thought, “I’m not going to put up with this youngster’s demands that I do what she says–if she won’t cooperate with me, then I can find plenty of shadchanim who will.”  In other words, you assumed that the girl’s mother couldn’t do without you, which is arrogance on your part.

You state that “It seems that singles do not have a chance for success because they do not even get to go out in the first place,” but you also blame the singles’ parents for why “girls are still 22 and single.”

I think that maybe you need to rethink your ideas about “the way things are done.”  We don’t do things the same way as the 1950s, the 1900s, the 1850s, or the 1700s.  I think you unwittingly, when you refused to bend to the girl’s mother’s request, prevented the shidduch from taking place.  Maybe it may not be too late to do something about it.  If you explain that the shidduch depends on both sides giving the information equally to the other, I think, if the mothers are aware, they will consent to a mutual exchange of information.  Shidduchim do not need to be blocked by anything if they are truly beshert.

While I composed this, I had another thought.  I know that in a different era many Jewish girls got married by 22.  But it seems that nowadays, claiming that a 22-year-old is “older” is a bit much.  If anything, I would argue that the mid-20s might be the best time to get married now (and if singles stay single into their 30s, 40s, or beyond, I would be happy whenever they get married).  But in full disclosure, I have not been a part of the shidduch system and I do not claim to understand much about it.  I know that your readers may be more knowledgeable about the shidduch system than I and could explain it to me.

Therefore, I think this would make a good subject for your blog.  You may use as much of it as you like, should you choose to use it.

Sheldan

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