Friday, April 01, 2005

My fault?

There has been some curiosity about my dating history, I think because people want to be able to judge whether my loneliness is my own fault. I am going to tell you about my dating history so you can judge for yourself. I think that yes I have made some mistakes along the way but I hope you will agree that it is mostly just a matter of how things have turned out. It is a brutal world and sometimes no matter how frum and nice and serious about getting married someone is they still do not get what they want.

In college I dated someone for a few months (in my circles, people usually get engaged after a few months). We considered getting married. We felt very connected and there was a lot of chemistry. We were S.N. the whole time purely for halacha. I was very attracted to him. We were both very frum. It was hard but neither of us even considered being not-SN. We were young and very frum. Being S.N. did not feel like a burden. It felt religious and spiritual and like an interesting challenge. However there was a lifestyle change he wanted me to make that I did not want to commit to and we broke up. If I knew then what I know now I would have married him (he is now married with five children). He was a good man and I should have compromised more. 14 years later the lifestyle change he wanted me to make is something I would not mind but when I was younger I thought it would make me feel trapped. I did not know then what I know now. I was very young.

Then I had a boyfriend whose commitment to being S.N. was probably not so strong but he never pressured me which was very nice of him. I was very attracted to him but managed to stay strong. It was harder because being S.N. was more important to me than to him but still it felt like the religious and right thing to do. There were some problems in our relationship but I thought they were minor and that we could work them out. I guess he did not think so though because he broke up with me on the basis of those problems. If we had stayed together even two more weeks I probably would have offered to be not-S.N. anymore but he broke up with me before I made that decision.

When I was 24 I dated an Orthodox rabbi for about two months (which for me and an Orthdox rabbi is a long time). It was very intense. We spent a lot of time together. I certainly would have liked a physical relationship with him but of course it was out of the question. We hardly mentioned it but of course I fantasized about him. After two months he broke up with me without being able to tell me why. I was very confused and hurt. It was another eight years though until he got married so maybe he just was not ready.

In my mid-twenties I developed a medical condition which is not obvious to dates and does not effect my dating directly but one of the results of it is that I gained enough weight that it was noticable. I am not obese just not as slender as my friends. I am dealing with it as well as I can. Still as you will see I have had boyfriends even after I was no longer my previous slender self. I still like my body usually and am comfortable with it as you can see from other things I have written on this blog, and I think that self-awareness comes through for men who are in tune to it which most Orthodox men are not. I think baalei teshuva sense it more.

But anyway on with the story. When I was 26 I dated a man for three months who I think wanted to marry me very much. By then I knew how precious it was to have a man who treats me so well (I do not mean that in a material way I mean that he was attentive and caring which most men were not) because most of my dates were real duds and also I was noticing a difference in how many dates I got with a man even when I liked him, maybe because of my weight and maybe because I was getting older (my friends had a similar experience and they are slender so it is hard to tell). He was very good to me and I appreciated that and so I stayed with him for three months even though I was not attracted to him at all. I do not know whether he was S.N. himself or whether he was being S.N. to be considerate to me. The question of breaking halacha with him never occured to me because there was no physical chemistry at all. But he was a nice man so I gave it a college try and hoped that I would become attracted to him as I got to know him better. If anyone accuses me of being too picky and not trying to make things work I will kill them! But after three months I knew I could never love him so I broke it off.

In my late twenties I dated someone for a couple of months which again for someone as frum as me is a pretty respectable amount of time. I was very attracted to him. We were both very frum but by then we were older and I was starting to feel that I would be willing to be not-S.N. much earlier in a relationship. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was very attentive to me but of course I wanted to wait a little while just to be sure that there was really a connection between us. The first month we were together was again very intense and after just 3 or 4 weeks I probably would have broached the subject of being not-S.N. except for one problem. I was starting to suspect that he had a hidden problem. There were things he did and said that were very strange. I started paying more attention and asking questions and discovered that he was a little overfond of gambling. Because I liked him so much I stayed with him for a month after that but was more guarded and careful and spoke with rabbis and psychologists about what this issue might mean in the future. Finally I broke up with him because maybe I have never been kissed but I am not stupid.

I know that you will tell me that if I lose weight I will increase my chances but if you think that being Shomer Negiah is hard I could write a whole other blog about my efforts to lose weight. Please do not give me advice about that because I have heard it all before. It is between me and my doctors.

My friends who are still as skinny as I used to be also have trouble finding men to date and they tell me that the shadchanim tell them also that there are not enough men and they are also miserable so I know it is not just me but I think that my weight puts me at the bottom of the list now. One shadchan told me that she will only set me up with men who are also overweight because if she sets up overweight women with men who are fit then the men do not come back to her (I stopped using her services after that. Is it just me or is she perpetuating a problem?) It is very frustrating because if only the shadchanim and the men knew how sexual I am then maybe my being “a little more to hold” would bother them less but I cannot tell a man “I may not be a size four but it is worthwhile to marry me because I will make sure the sex is fantastic.” That is not something you can say on a shidduch date and if they will not give me a chance for a relationship then how are they supposed to find out that if they marry me I would enthusiastically do whatever they want me to do to them? I cannot say that on a shidduch date.

I know I am not perfect and I have my issues and have made my mistakes but there is not anything so bad about me that I do not deserve to be married. Also there is no logical reason for my single friends to be still single. They are beautiful, slender, smart, generous and will make excellent wives and mothers. I do not understand what is happening.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't blame you and I don't think anyone should either.
Keep looking SN and stay strong.
I'm sure you'll find your man soon!

4/01/2005 01:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one of the people who asked about your dating history. I didn't think your not being married would be "your fault." I wanted more insight into the process, because I truly do not understand why someone like you, who wants to marry, is not married -- and honestly, I still don't.
I have any number of not so skinny friends who are married! I know downright ugly girls who married young! Weight or even general looks is only ever an added factor!

I think a lot of O. men pick up on comfort with ones own body, but I think the older single guys might land up more tuned out of it (out of general repression). Just a theory.

4/01/2005 02:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Chana said...

You sound like a very sweet person.
Soon someone is going to appreciate you as you deserve to be appreciated and things will turn around.
Marriage at a young age is not all its cracked up to be. Just look around at the harasssed faces of the 20 yr olds you pass on the street. These girls are old before their time.
Many women find true happiness later in life. Your commitment to your values is inspiring.
Keep your chin up sweetie.

4/01/2005 03:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Untill the past year I had what I considered a weight problem. I can still hear the voices of those sanctomonious pr!cks telling me how to loose weight, or making fat jokes. Even after loosing the weight, I still can't shake the feeling that I'm fat. People who've never been there don't get it. They think everyone who is overweight lacks the will power to stop eating. They don't realized that most heavy people are dealing wither either or both psychological and physical deamons.

When I told shadchans that I was NOT looking for a beauty queen, not that I'd object to one, but that it wasn't in any way a requirment, they universally (and I went to quite a few shadchans) looked astonished at me. It's so rare for a man to not stipulate exactly the "look" he's searching for. I find it all so shallow, after all I became BT(in part) to get away from the pervasive shallow attitudes of the secular world. Allas religous jews are still humans. pitty.

4/01/2005 04:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you ask what is happening, what is happening is what has much been predicted long ago. And there is a Master plan to it all. As I am sure I don't have to tell you all this (and I am not Chas Visholom trying to insult you in anyway)There is Hashem and he runs the world even though we usually don't have an understanding to things. I hear much of what you have to say and feel for the situation, other then that not sure what else to say, but Hatzlocha Rabba, and may we all hear good news soon.

4/01/2005 04:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might the problem be we are a small enough community that there are not enough guys around?

4/01/2005 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion that you must consider. You have to move, as soon as possible, to a completely different community. If you live outside N.Y. move to there.If you live in New York move to Israel. Think about it, if someone is fishing for years in the same lake, and they never catch anything what should they do, should they continue fishing in that lake, if there are other lakes that might have much more fish in them ?

4/01/2005 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got married relatively young, but I do have some "older" single friends, youre age. I haven't had the guts to ask them about this, too personal. I wish you luck and mazel. And may Hashem grant you your wish very soon in reward for keeping His laws!

4/01/2005 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Dear NJG,

Good luck in your struggles - I've published a mission statement that might interest you. PLease comment:

4/01/2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Texas Mensch said...

Would you consider someone who has been married previously? I'm not trying to set you up, just curious.

4/01/2005 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Nice Jewish Girl said...

Thanks for all the nice comments everyone.

Anonymous #6: That is such a good suggestion that I have already tried it twice. I have moved twice already to different cities. I have tried dating in 3 large Jewish communities. Now I am finished with that and would like to stay where I am for a while and at least feel like I have a home and I am not a nomad anymore.

4/01/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Nice Jewish Girl said...

Texas . . . yes but it depends on certain circumstances.

4/01/2005 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey keep the faith. Sometimes it is hard to maintain a clear perception of what is right, but when you know you are in the right compromising is doing the wrong thing (a little rigid, maybe) but only when there are two right things to do can one compromise.

I honestly believe that happiness can only be achieved by following G-d's will and I want to encourage ppl to remain strong and possibly think of you first Shomer Negiah challenge as something which both help you grow and you ex grow too. He may only be capable of have the relationship with his wife now because of your effort. Now I know noone wants to go on dates to heal the world of single men so they can all go off and be happily married, but you too have to learn from those situations to
1. not doubt G-d
2. develop discipline, self control
3. learn about the opposite sex
and I am sure a couple of other things too.
I have dated a few times, and I have not only learnt things from my dates, but these ideas have changed the way I look at the world and act.
I wish every person the same.

ME: I am a frum guy and I have not succeed in parnasa, much to my frustration. My Rabbi told to get that settled first.
This week I was walking along the street thinking and boom it came to me why I have not been able to get settled financially-it is a gift from G-d. I noticed a flaw in my interpersonal interactions, and Hashem was just protecting me from serious failure.
Em"H I will learn how to interact with ppl properly and Em"H the finances will fall into place, then I will meet the right person and Em"H the right relationship will blossom.

The man

4/01/2005 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger princessdominique said...

It's always great to learn something new and I can say I did that today.

4/01/2005 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger shleppy said...

my favorite show is "extreme makeover." if you want a family you should get as much surgery/dentistry as you can afford to look better. once you hit your late 30's not only does your fertility fall off a cliff but the chances of having a healthy baby also fail.

4/01/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Not to compare your story to anything else - just to tell you that I know many women (not Jewish most of them) who ask the same things and understand as little as you do. I think it has to do w the pace of the world and the sudden closeness of it. We want instant gratification and we were told we could have the best, and bcs of technology we have indeed seen the best in many locations. We are culturally and socially spoiled and immature, always aiming for more and better.

Kudos to you for not having got married just to get it out of the way. It takes a brave one to know when to let go of that which is not good for us.

4/01/2005 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger AnotherNYJew said...

Shleppy, if I gave advice like that, I'd stay anonymous.

4/01/2005 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous deyeshiva said...

You probably had other influential experiences you are choosing not to reveal. What other traumas happened in your life? And do you follow your sister's advice too closely?

4/01/2005 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger shleppy said...

like it or not following my advice will get her pregnant unlike your hand wringing.

4/01/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting pregnant has nothing to do with advice or hand wringing.

4/01/2005 06:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Lazar said...

I say grab the 1st guy that comes around and get it over least a kiss! Break the association that it would cheapen it....Get it over with! It may change your views on a lot of things. You are not defined by this. To me your S-N looks more like a bad habit than a reason at this point. I know you must feel like you've waited all this time and you want it to be the right person bla bla bla...what if you turn around and you're 75 and you've never been kissed? Also, how will you feel if you do meet the right guy and he which he most probably will have some sexual experience and you have ZIP ? I think you need to experiment a should know this...there are so many different types of kisses and sex...sometimes its good, sometimes it's heh and sometimes its fireworks! I think you are feeling very anxious about the actual moment it will happen that it probably will not live up the moment...truthfully sometimes the 1st time is not so good but it could or could not be amazing after so why commit to marriage if its terrible, then what? go backwards in life? thats impossible.

I wish you lots of luck and hope no one is throwing virtual stones at me. I just want to free you.

4/02/2005 08:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa lazar, love the advice. I think a free sex society is best.
we are all too uptight, repressed.

Do you hear yourself, Lisa?
Do you want to have a one night stand? sex? or Love? because let me tell you the person who wants to just sleep with will walk. He/she probably slept with others and guess what, no one person has it. Men are hunters, if you give it to them they will take it and walk.

Women have pushed for social change, most of it good, but some of it was not. The freedom to have sex with anyone is not a freedom, it is a shackel to sluttiness, something which could take a life time to overcome if even then.
A girlfriend of mine played it a little loose as a teenager and has yet to recover her good name (she is completely frum now, but people still treat her like she would do those things today).

Signed The man

PS as any good honest man you know about how they would feel if a girl's been around ('experience')

4/02/2005 11:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Nice Jewish Girl said...

Lisa . . . I think you are transposing your own wishes onto me. If I kiss a man after all these years who does not have some emotional connection to me I WILL feel cheap. I already wrote in this blog - maybe you have not read the whole thing - that when I kiss someone it will be like what losing their virginity is for other women. You are taking a philosophy of "free love" and trying to put it on someone whose life is not about that. My goal is not to be kissed. My goal is to be loved. The fact that I have not been kissed is a symptom of my problem and also an added source of frustration and self-pity. It is not in itself the problem.

4/03/2005 12:58:00 AM  
Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...


You are right. Don't give in just for giving ins sake. Only you yourself can decided when and who with, and how you deal with it as a religious Jewess. More power to you.


4/03/2005 03:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know what I have a problem with religion. I sympathize with the followers. I am Jewish and married to a jewish guy and that was very important for me. However, I feel bad for people who follow the religion so closesly that they become repressed --man and women alike and this lives within all religious communities. Is it a coincidence that Mormons in Utah is where the porn movies thrive?
I dont think so.
I dont advocate sleeping around at all. I have slept with a few guys myself and am happy to have experienced these joys and heartbreaks. This is has made me feel strong in the end. If I neve slept with anyone I'd always feel like an innocent little girl ---and believe me Men ONLY want that for their ego so you have no one to compare them to. I feel pure even though I wasnt a virgin when I married.
Religios teachings are brainwashing techniques all for the advantages of men.
When you repress, it eats inside of you and then you obsess, it isn't healthy.

4/04/2005 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous shaiky said...

Dear Utah native

It is nice to hear that you are happy with your relationships in the past and I wish your current relationship much success.

I can honestly say I have no desire to meet a women, and spend a night in perfect bliss if it does not conform to the desire G-d has for me. (btw it would not be bliss if I constantly was looking behind me for Pinchas' spear or knowing my soul would be fair tender for the fleeting moments of pleasure) If G-d does not want it for me than it ain't for my good and it won't raise my spiritual portfolio.
People have to have a good bussiness in the bussiness world, shift those ideas to your spiritual world. Diversify, invest a smile or two a day (I heard you can get higher returns on rainy days)

4/04/2005 09:04:00 PM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

Dear anonymous,
1) It's kind of ironic b/c I sympathize for people like you.

2) I sympathize for people who so misunderstand the nature of what Judaism is that they think they can cut out any part they don't like (and paste in any idea they do like) and effectively create their own religion which I like to call "Me-ism". I feel bad for you that you're a slave to your indoctrinated beliefs of what right and wrong is. (B/c, have no doubt, you didn't arrive at them based on your own intellect, that's for sure.)

3) I feel bad for practitioners of Me-ism who lower themselves closer to animals with doctrines which state that 'morality shouldn't be followed if it causes a person to feel repressed'. (hmmmm. how long would such a philosophy take to justify murder?)

4) Regarding mormons: that has absolutely no relevance to this conversation b/c:
A) We're not mormons;
B) We don't care what mormons do nor do we vouch for their morality;
C) Correlation is Not Causation; and
D) Mormons promote polygamy (which would seem to imply, using your logic, that "the more sexual partners one has the more sexually seeking one will become". as such, it would seem that people like you, who sleep around, are the cause for so much pornography and lewdness.)

5) "I dont advocate sleeping around at all." followed by: "I have slept with a few guys myself..." Hmmmm.

6) Let me get this straight, you would rather sleep around and not be a pure girl so as to be able to compare your future husband("escorts"?) to other men, which would bother him (them).
Did I get that right?

7) "I feel pure even though I wasnt a virgin when I married."
I'm totally with you on this one. I feel innocent though I robbed an old lady. And who's to say otherwise!

8) "Religios teachings are brainwashing techniques all for the advantages of men."
wow. you must be really paranoid, ignorant, and must really hate men.

Good luck, you're going to need it.

4/04/2005 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous no clever nickname said...

You write about what you cannot say on a shidduch date. I worry about that, sitting on the other side of the table with different women. How can I distinguish between a woman who is waiting for marriage to have an active sexual life, and a woman who was never all that interested, or whose libido has atrophied after long inactivity? But then, I suppose even without being SN, she could give the impression of interest long enough to get a father for her children ...

4/05/2005 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger brianna said...

Your blog made me cry. I want you to know I admire you for being so strong and honest with yourself.

4/05/2005 05:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me you couldn't have handled your previous relatioships better.
apart from the first boyfriend you had, with which you weren't willing to change - that seems like a mistake when you look back, but as we all now it's very easy to figure out our mistakes in retrospect.
it also seems you prob. will not make this "mistake" again should this situation happen again.

i hope you'll remain's only a matter of time untill you'll meet the guy for you.

4/05/2005 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Hacker_not_Hocker said...

Shaiky - I like your Pinchas reference.
No Clever - I agree. As a frum single guy, I too wonder about that. I figure, that if it comes to it (i.e. I find someone with potential for marriage) I would probably bring it up at some point when we are "serious". While this is not a normal first date type conversation, it is something that should be discussed.
It can also be used as a litmus test. If she is uncomfortable talking about it, it may be an indication of things to come. (Please note that I said "MAY be and indication" - no flames please)

4/06/2005 04:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's probably not your weight.Seeing very skinny men with very large women is not an uncommon site, infact it's a stereotype. It got to be so for a reason.

Here's the thing about Shomer Negiah, it realy encourages you to get married young. I mean, talk about repressed urges. The need for touch (from someone your sexualy attracted to) alone is enough to write great volumes of.

So the men who are left,at your age.They are very very picky or not very attractive... you have hit the bottom of the barrel. Have you considered maybe dating a nice conservative boy looking to convert to orthodoxy, a fresh fish if you will. Maybe a nice divorcee of a convert... it's one thing to limit your choices as a matter of faith, its quite another to do it out of mere custom. So you may have to expand into unconventional territory.

Good luck

4/04/2009 09:34:00 PM  

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