Jewish Geography

by Tamar Caspi under Single Life

The Jewish community is small. It’s even smaller when you’re dating. And it shrinks to miniscule proportions when you only take into account those that are seriously looking for their beshert. Chances are you’ll see the same people on JDate, at community events and working out at the JCC. If you happen to run into someone you’ve never seen before, odds are they’re the friend or relative of someone you’ve already dated, or your friend or relative has already dated them. The Jewish dating world can quickly become incestuous.

If you really like a guy who previously dated a friend, you want to make sure it’s okay with her, but don’t ask details. Just because he acted one way with her doesn’t mean he’s going to be the same way with you. Hopefully he learned from that relationship and her loss is your gain. All’s fair in love and war, right?

There was this one guy on JDate whose dad grew up with my mom. And another JDater®’s grandparents were close with my grandparents many years ago. I know it sounds cute, but it can get obnoxious. Recently I was set up with a guy I supposedly knew when I was little. My mom even pointed him out in pictures from my 2nd birthday party. A charming story, but it didn’t equal fate.

I met one guy at a Jewish event who had recently moved to town after graduating law school. After adding him on Facebook, I found that he knew many of my elementary school classmates and was able to do a quick, undercover background check, receiving the blessing from all of our mutual friends. Although he isn’t my beshert, I was able to utilize the Six Degrees of Jewish Separation to my advantage.

Jewish geography can be good for the most part. You know what kind of company he keeps, who his friends are, and if he’s an all around good guy. But it can also ruin a perfectly good prospect. Sometimes it’s better not to know whom he’s dated, how much he parties or about that time he got arrested in Mexico. Because that’s his past and may not reflect who he is now or who he is around you and really, that’s all that matters.


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