You view a friend’s JDate profile, and it’s a train wreck, yet they don’t want to accept a word of your advice. You see a friend falling for a scumbag, but they don’t care about your opinion. You watch a friend walk to the chuppah to meet Mr. (or Mrs.) Wrong, but they don’t want to hear one word of caution from you. Should they? Some people have to make mistakes on their own to learn life lessons. It doesn’t matter if you went through THE EXACT SAME THING, they need to figure it out for themselves. And don’t you dare say “I told you so” afterwards. Would you have listened? Probably not.
I had a serious boyfriend when I was 20, and he wasn’t Jewish. My parents didn’t guilt me or pressure me; they just let it play out. I got seriously heartbroken… and I kept dating goys. My parents made jokes here and there, but they let me go on my journey. Were they surprised I didn’t find my Beshert until I started dating Jews? Probably not. But they kept it to themselves. They knew their opinions would do nothing but alienate me. So when my younger friend Jessica was following in my footsteps, I shared my story with her as a subtle way to show her what I thought I was the right path. Ultimately Jessica chose her own path and is happily married to her non-Jewish Beshert.
People have to do what feels right for them, even if you can foresee trouble ahead, you need to let them do their thing.
About five years ago I received an email on JDate from another journalist. In the email he told me he was a local TV news anchor which is why his profile was pretty vague, lacking photos and some other pertinent information. We decided to meet for sushi and as soon as we sat down he dropped the bomb: he wasn’t Jewish. He told me all his friends are Jewish and they all married Jewish women whom he found to be great wives and mothers and he wanted to marry a Jewish woman himself. I was stunned. Never in a million years did I think that non-Jews would be looking on JDate. I mean, this guy wrote me an email which means he actually PAID for a membership and wasn’t just browsing for entertainment’s sake. I told him I was flattered on behalf of all Jewish women, but that he should either mark on his profile that he isn’t Jewish and willing to convert or, better yet, go to a non-religious dating website.
Since then I have heard endless accounts from people whom have met non-Jews via JDate and most are baffled by the predicament. Isn’t there enough chance of a Jew meeting a non-Jew during normal day-to-day life? I don’t love it, but as long as they are checking off the appropriate categories so people aren’t being deceived and know the full story and what they are getting into then I think it’s harmless. As long as everyone is being honest then it’s up to you to decide if you want to send an email or reply to an email from someone who isn’t Jewish on JDate.