Friday Night Lights

by Kelly under Relationships

A Reform girl and an Orthodox guy walk into a bar…

Don’t tell me you’ve heard this one before. Because I assure you, you have not. Last year, I went out with a guy who was 25, divorced, and Modern Orthodox. And then I went out with a guy who was 25, divorced, and Modern Orthodox. Yes, you are reading that right. Oh, and I should mention they went to the same college. Yes, you are reading this right.

25 – Perfect.
Divorced – At 25?
Modern Orthodox? Didn’t they see that I’m Reform on my profile? And how did I notice this on their JDate profile? I’m Reform. As Orthodox Guy #1 later told me, “You might as well be Christian.” Hello, I was Bat Mitzvahed! He might as well said, “you are never going to meet my parents.”
Two of them – Really, universe? Really?

Like most of the Reform Jewish kids I grew up with, I went to Hebrew school and JCC summer camp, was Bat Mitzvahed, went on Birthright, spent much of my adolescence wearing Juicy sweatpants and listening to Dave Matthews Band. That’s the only way I know how to be Jewish.

It wasn’t until one Saturday at sundown that it hit me just how different our versions of Judaism really are. I was doing that girl thing and getting annoyed that Orthodox Guy #2 wasn’t responding to my texts. It had been about a day. Then around 6 pm that night he started texting me back. Earth to Kelly – his phone was off. Off because he was busy observing shabbat. Shabbat because he’s Modern Orthodox. What was I doing when I got his texts? Blow drying my hair, listening to music, and texting my friends.

It never dawned on me that I would have to consider religious differences on JDate. First of all, neither of these guys gave away their denomination on their profiles. And not to mention, all three times I’ve fallen in love was with Catholic guys. I didn’t think this would be an issue on JDate. The universe or God or maybe just my luck clearly wanted to make a point. And trust me, it did. I now try to avoid dating anyone much more religious than myself. Because as I learned – twice – some Jews prefer a total Shabbat shutdown, and some of us like our Friday night lights.


How Important is Religion?

by JeremySpoke under Judaism,Single Life

Though my age is relatively young, the emotional toll brought on by an endless number of first dates and missed opportunities puts my soul at a geriatric age. Throughout this journey, I have felt all of the emotions that a jealous, bitter old man with a lifetime of regret has grown to feel. I have felt jealousy of all of the people that find love with the first person they meet immediately after puberty. I have felt anger that I wasn’t born with looks or a specific talent that caters directly to the propagation of females laughing. I have felt remorse that I didn’t utilize my body in the proper way before I started losing (hair, friends, a sex drive).

When it comes down to it, how important is religion when facing a lifetime of loneliness? It seems that the older you get, the less important things become. For example, when you are young, nothing is more important than recess. As you grow older, you find less and less time for physical activity. When you are a kid, sugar is an important content of every meal and snack. As you grow older and diabetes sets in, you are forced to cut out most sugar from your diet. When you are young and idealistic, you know you will end up with somebody who is Jewish. As you grow older, you decide that your spouse doesn’t have to be Jewish, as long as you two raise your children in a Jewish home. As you grow even older, you decide to settle for anybody with whom you can carry on a conversation. As you grow even older, and diabetes and dementia both begin to set in, your only goal is to not die alone.


Dazed & Confused

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Rabbi,Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I’ve been seeing a man who’s not Jewish that I met on a dating site 7 months ago.  We’ve said we love each other, however when we first met, it was Hanukkah and he bought me a huge number of gifts and it felt uncomfortable and overwhelming.  He also bought a menorah and a book about Judaism. It felt like too much for me and he felt rejected by the way I felt. Since then, I thought we had moved on and have spent almost every day together. Recently, he was reading my e-mail and saw a letter I had written to my Rabbi back in January where I had doubts about the relationship because of the fact he wasn’t Jewish. He broke my trust and has apologized but feels hurt I felt that way when we had already been dating for a few months and wants to take a break for a month. I want to respect his wishes but I miss him and know he misses me as he did write me yesterday. I’m just trying to understand whether we have broken up or not and if I should move on or if we are truly taking time to figure out what we want with the intention of possibly getting back together. I don’t understand how you can work something out without talking about it. Can you provide some input and help me to understand? Thank you!

Dear Dazed & Confused,

My initial impulse is to ask: why are you on JDate asking for advice about a relationship with a non-Jew? But the answer doesn’t matter, I’m happy to help as long as you answer a question for yourself first: how important is it to you to marry a Jew? This answer does matter. When you first had doubts, you went to your Rabbi. Now you have doubts again and you’re coming to JDate, so my inclination is to believe that religion is important to you and while you’re on this break you should really think deeply about it. It sounds like this guy might be willing to convert, have you discussed it? If you want to be with this guy – Jewish or not – you need to get him on the phone and then in person to talk. A few days apart to think things through is understandable, each of you needs to put things in perspective and decide what you want from each other, if anything. But now it’s time to get talking because you’re right – you can’t work on a relationship without both parties being present. Good luck!


Serious Relationships

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Relationships

Dear Gems from Jen,

I had two serious relationships, the last of which ended almost four years ago.  I’ve dated a lot since then, but no one longer than three and a half months.  Both of my serious relationships ended because of the religion issue (i.e., they weren’t Jewish).  Both girls were incredible and we had amazing relationships otherwise.

I feel like I can’t find the same spark with anyone I’ve dated since.  I’ve actually liked a lot of the girls I’ve dated and I’m even friends with two of them, but it’s just not the same.  I fully believe this issue is mine.  I’ve never really sought out a professional to ask how I can overcome whatever issue I have.  I’m very successful in every other area of my life.

Thanks for your help. I’m very interested to hear your thoughts.

Regards,
M

Dear Serious Relationships,

I am wondering if you are comparing these two past relationships to the women you are dating now? Sometimes people tend do this without even being aware that they are doing it.. You knew these relationships from your past were not going to work out, but you chose to stay even though you knew neither was right for you.  Have you considered the possibility that perhaps you don’t want a successful relationship?  I’m not necessarily saying this is your truth, but it is something for you to think about.  Spend some time figuring out what the “spark” you felt really was. Was it knowing these relationships were a no-no, or was it true chemistry? If you truly want a serious relationship, make your list of your non-negotiable items, including the Judaism piece, and stick to it. Spend time every day looking at profiles on JDate and contact only those that fit your criteria.  Allow yourself to let go of the past and move forward with your future.

Signed,
Gems from Jen

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